George Saville’s goal was the Northern Ireland midfielder’s first for Middlesbrough in eight months

A first-minute goal was enough for Middlesbrough to put a three-point gap between themselves and the Championship relegation places as they beat fellow strugglers Charlton at the Riverside.

Boro needed just 52 seconds to score as George Saville pounced after Britt Assombalonga’s shot had taken a deflection and Ashley Fletcher had kept the ball alive.

The Addicks, who have won just twice in 14 games since mid-September, created no chances of note in a performance that will worry boss Lee Bowyer.

Middlesbrough could have increased their lead as Marcus Tavernier, Hayden Coulson and Assombalonga all missed good opportunities to score.

The only positive for Charlton, who stay in 17th place, was that five-goal striker Lyle Taylor returned after more than three months out with injury as a half-time substitute.

More to follow.

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